As we conclude 2020 it is impossible not to reflect what an extraordinary year it has been. Our lives and work have all been dominated by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Infections rates remain high in Europe and North America so we look forward keenly to the roll out of the new vaccines. I want to express my sorry for all those personally effected by the virus.
The virus of course presented buildingSMART with immediate challenges; I am extremely proud of the work done by the buildingSMART team to implement online working and host two very successful virtual summits together with our normal governance and leadership meetings. The virtual environment has enabled extended engagement and will remain a key part of our future. The 2020 Awards and Fellowship online ceremonies were particular highlights.
The year has been extremely busy for buildingSMART International and its chapters. We have welcomed new chapters from the UAE and Slovenia, and many have our existing chapters and achieved significant growth and/or renewal milestones.
In terms of our technical work, I want to emphasis as forcefully as I can the importance of the work being done to extend the IFC Standard to cover major infrastructure domains. The deployment projects for Road and Rail have made good progress with growing support from software vendors. We are also liaising with the AASHTO Bridges and Structures project following their adoption of IFC. This is extremely important work to ensure the necessary harmonization is robust.
A major milestone this year was the publication and adoption of our Technical Roadmap. This sets out the technical vision for both IFC and bSDD and is a vital document to build confidence that our standards will be robustly managed in a quality sense and managed in a way to ensure they are available in formats to meet modern needs. We are placing emphasis on ensuring the usability of our outputs with robust supporting tools and services.
In terms of forward-looking leadership, I would like to reflect on the excellent positioning paper prepared by our digital twin leadership group and to reiterate the important messages around the Value of openBIM®. There is increasing recognition the open data standards will underpin the distribution of wealth and power in the future and that a level data playing field is needed. Clients are starting to recognize their responsibilities and the risks of inaction.
So, at the end of a rather sober but very successful year for buildingSMART I wish everyone best wishes for the festive season and look forward a hopefully more health 2021 and increased progress on all our projects in 2021.